Hospitals and Health
Hospitals have different waste requirements
than other types of businesses. Please note that the recycling
regulations do not apply to "red bag" waste. This material,
which is specially handled and can be a high cost item for hospitals,
should be managed as it has been in the past.
For other recyclables in the hospital
waste stream, follow the tips below:
Steps for Successful Recycling:
1. Set up appropriate recycling programs
in administrative offices, food service areas and waiting rooms.
Unless a large amount of recyclable material is present, it is
generally not practical to collect recyclables from patient rooms
and clinical areas.
2. Walk through the facility noting
what type of waste is discarded in each area. A walk-through
will help you determine which types of bins are needed. Typical
programs are likely to involve some of the following:
- Administrative and office areas - office
paper, corrugated cardboard, other paper, cans, bottles.
- Food service areas - glass, metal,
cans, plastic containers, corrugated cardboard (make sure that
food waste is separated or that it goes down the garbage disposal).
- Public areas - newspaper, magazines,
Make sure that bins in public areas are well-marked. For these
areas, it is best to choose bins with specialized openings, such
as a hole for cans or a slot for newspapers. It is also important
to place bins where the materials are generated.
4. Be sure that regular waste is not
being tossed in with red bag waste. Educate staff members about
what does not belong in the red bags and make sure that regular
trash bins are available in medical areas.
5. Inform employees about proper recycling
procedures. Issue a memo, throw a kick-off party and explain
any separation procedures when you distribute bins.
6. Set up a log book or a receipt system
to record the volume of recyclables leaving the premises. This
will enable you to receive proper compensation for your materials
and to take appropriate action if volumes decrease.
7. Include recycling information in
your orientation for new employees.
8. Explain the overall recycling program
to your housekeeping staff, and use them as your eyes and ears.
Have them inform you of any areas with major contamination problems,
and follow up with improved recycling education in these areas.
9. After policies have been established,
train housekeeping staff by showing them what to do with new
bins, how to collect waste separately and where to bring separated
materials. For a 24-hour operation, plan pick-ups on appropriate
shifts so that you do not have a problem with overflowing bins.
10. Be sure that your grounds crew knows
to keep yard waste separate from other waste.
11. Ask your waste hauler for advice
about keeping recyclables and wet waste separate. Depending on
the company's trucks and equipment, your hauler may want to give
you separate containers for trash and recyclables.
12. Remind employees to keep food waste
out of recycling containers and trash. Food waste should go down
the garbage disposal or be handled separately from trash and